IESA regularly features graduates from its AESA B.S. and Certificate programs in its "Alumni Focus." Because our graduates are hired for public and private sector jobs and accepted to graduate schools at a very high rate, we wanted to highlight these outstanding students and find out what made their experiences at UNG so unique.
James E. Fitzgerald, GISP (UNG '12) - Cobb County GIS Specialist
Which concentration did you follow in your AESA degree?
The Environmental Science Track
Were you considered a traditional or non-traditional student?
I was a traditional student, but already held a B.A. degree.
What was your primary motivation for earning the AESA degree?
To seek employment in a technological field and to become a certified soil classifier, I needed to earn a B.S. and obtain a science background.
Where are you currently employed and what is your function?
I work for the Cobb County Tax Assessor's Office as a GIS Specialist, where I perform database management, parcel editing, map visualization and reporting, georeferencing, quality control of GIS data, and general data analysis. I am also working to implement new methods for the acquisition and presentation of spatial data using ArcGIS API for Silverlight, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Viewer, and Python scripting. I am also employed part-time with Appalachian Soil, Inc. where I classify soil for a variety of development scenarios.
Describe the most challenging or most rewarding project you have worked on since graduating that involved the use of geospatial technology.
Tough question! The most challenging thing, in general, is working with tremendous amounts of data. Organization is a key component! I use a format for spatial analysis called Problem, Plan, Data, Analysis, and Conclusion (P.P.D.A.C.). A particularly rewarding project was one in which I used Python scripting and ModelBuilder tools to automatically create polygons - what once took hours, now takes seconds!
What are specific skills that you acquired in the program that have helped you in your current position?
Spatial analysis, data acquisition, and research methodology are important skills that I acquired at UNG, but I would like to comment that all the skills I learned have been applied to my current jobs in the GIS and Environmental Science fields.
Thanks, James, for taking the time to answer our questions!